Art A-Z: R – Repin Ilya

Ilya Efimovich Repin (1844, Chuguev – 1930, Kuokkala, today – Repino) – painter.

One of the most prominent Russian painters of the second half of the XIX century.

Repin studied at the Society of Painters’ Support, where I.Kramskoy was his teacher. Later he passed studies at the Academy of Arts. In 1873-1876, he received scholarship of the Academy of Arts to go to Italy and France. Member of Peredvizhniki since 1878.

Since 1882, Repin lived in Saint-Petersburg, since 1900 – in his estate in Kuokkala, on the shore of the Finnish gulf.

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Barge Haulers on the Volga

Under Kramskoy’s influence he became supporter of democratic movement in art, which criticised academic style.

During travel on Volga, he made several sketches and made painting Barge Haulers on the Volga (1870-1873), which brought him fame. The painting was a landmark in Russian art, as people’s life became a popular topic after it.

During his stay in France, Repin painted en plein air, and made a series of works a la G. Courbet and young C.Pissarro.

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Portrait of Leo Tolstoi

Repin was a master of portrait, which helped him to create multifigure paintings. He made a series of portraits of his contemporaries – collector P.Tretyakov (1883), writer L.Tolstoi (1887), composer M.Musorgsky (1881).

Repin’s late works however are not equal in force with earlier master-pieces.

Author of the memoir Far Close.